On Tuesday, Food Network star Sunny Anderson used her platform to share a message about being an ally to marginalized groups and others who face social injustices.
In an emotional Instagram post, which included a memorable story from her childhood, Anderson declared her support for the LGBTQ community at the start of Pride Month.
“Hello, at 6 or 7 years old I realized I was different. I was chased home from school by a pack of white kids hurling the N word at me out of their filthy mouths. I had NEVER heard the word before, but by the way they were chasing me...I knew it was bad," the co-host of "The Kitchen" said.
When Anderson got home that day, she recalled meeting her mom who promptly "assessed the situation, turned me & my brother back around & marched out the front door."
Anderson did not disclose exactly what her mother said or did in this new post (she did note that she has talked about the incident before), however, she said the experience changed her forever.
"Just know, those kids NEVER bothered us again & I grew up a STRONG, EDUCATED, BLACK WOMAN like my mother. We don't even speak anymore, that's another story. But I will NOT discount what she instilled in me at that age and many other stages in my life made difficult by the "isms,"" she said.
After that incident, Anderson explained that her family watched the PBS series "Eyes on the Prize," which premiered in 1987 and documents the history of the civil rights movement. She recommended it to her 533,000 followers as an "excellent way" to start a dialogue about racism, as well as a way to form a deeper understanding behind the protests that continue today.
"What I STILL remember from watching it is how CAPTIVATED I was by NON blacks on those marches, protesting WITH us. I asked my parents, WHY? And they explained not ALL people are bad and it takes ALL walks of life to affect change," she said.
Anderson concluded the post by expressing her support for the LGBTQ community, stating, "That is why at 45, I lend my voice and support to the LGBTQ community, I don't need to be OF it, to LOVE it. So this here is me appreciating you if you feel you are not "OF" me, but support me and other BLACK lives that matter...because TRUTH is we are ALL "of" each other."
The celebrity chef chose to post her story on Blackout Tuesday, a social media movement that was initially started by two music industry executives who called on people to use the weekday as a time to reflect on the history of racism and think about productive ways to help the African American community. Many black celebrities used the day to share stories and encouraging words promoting social justice reforms. Others urged people to take meaningful action by voting.
Anderson's post garnered over 8,000 likes within three hours. Like many others, Giada De Laurentiis told the Food Network star she would be watching "Eyes on the Prize."
Many fans also commented about their own experiences and thanked Anderson for inspiring people to show their support for groups affected by racism and discrimination.